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Data Changes Classroom Practices for Better...and Worse

With increasing access to student data, some teachers are using the information to inform their teaching and engage students.

For example, Burlingame, CA, teacher Angelique Barry gives students short reading assessments and uses DIBELS literacy software to pinpoint exactly where a child needs help. “The data allows me to hone in on what specific area the student needs,” she told Francesca Segre of the Mind/Shift blog. “Instead of just saying ‘Johnny’s not a good reader,’ well, what makes Johnny not a good reader? Is it his fluency? His comprehension? His decoding?”

Educators note, however, that an over-reliance on numbers can take attention away from the “human factor” that’s crucial not only for effective teaching, but also positive classroom climate. Increased use of data also means more time spent inputting information, and possibly additional scrutiny from administrators.

CA third-grade teacher Christy Novack said some educators are so busy scoring and entering assessment data that it takes away from time they would have spent preparing for instruction.

Read the full story.

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